Weekdays 5:30-10:00 AM
What can we say about this guy? Bobby is a life-long radio broadcaster, programmer and manager. His radio trip started in a small town in Washington State, followed by stops that included Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, and Seattle before landing in Tucson 1992. The self-proclaimed “non-controversial, provocative, non-offensive, middle-of-the-road, Disc Jockey,” Bobby is a legendary radio person and a familiar, friendly and fun voice to a huge number of Tucsonans who heard him on 94.9 for over 25 years. Back and UN-retired, Bobby Rich says, “I am a unabashed believer in the value of radio, to our listeners, our community and our advertisers. Radio was my first love and it will be my last.” Bobby Rich was elected to Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame. His show was named “Best In City” by Tucson Lifestyle and “Best Local Radio Show” in the AZ Daily Star Readers Poll, and Bobby was named Best Radio Personality by Tucson Weekly. Greater Tucson Leadership gave him their “Community Leadership Award.” Tucson Advertising Federation chose him for the prestigious “Golden Mic Award.”
Weekdays 5:30-10:00 AM
Hill moved to Tucson in 1987 and grew up on the east side. She was a Sahuaro High School Cougar until she moved to midtown and graduated from Tucson High. Hill went on to the University of Arizona to study media arts, and could be found hanging out on 4th Ave seven nights a week, including Christmas. She got her first taste of radio on the U of A radio station KAMP in 1998, and later moved to Colorado in 2000 to work in radio full time. During her 10 years away from Tucson, Hill worked in radio throughout Colorado and California before returning to Tucson where she met her husband. They were married on a beach in Mexico and have adopted three rescue dogs through the years. By her late 30s, Hill and her husband were ready for a human baby, but like so many women, she needed some help. Thanks to a great fertility doctor, the Baileyʼs welcomed a daughter in March 2017, and she fills up Hill’s Instagram and Facebook. During fertility treatments and pregnancy, Hill had to trade in her wine glass and instead found caking! She is self-taught through on line courses, and she loves to build custom cakes. Cautionary tale to future cakers: it is an expensive hobby! Hill is also looking forward to picking up another expensive hobby; either scuba or golf await her.
Weekdays 10:00 AM-2:30 PM
Ken Carr is a media veteran who started his career in Nebraska. Notable because you know what comes from Nebraska donʼt you? Corn, corn, corn, corn. After falling off the cob in 2001, he fell in love with the incredible people and beautiful weather of Tucson and has lived here ever since. You’ve heard him on 93.7 KRQ, Z104.1, and Mega 106.3, and you’ve seen his work as Executive Producer at KGUN9 TV. Since 2009, his Twitter account @WhatsUpTucson has featured 100% local content, including up-to-the minute local Tucson news and info. The site has more than 100,000 followers. Ken’s non-media interests include photography, waking his always sleeping dog Lucky, and watching his favorite TV show Live PD.
Weekdays 2:30-7:00 PM
Mikey Esparza is a 30-year radio professional who started his career right here in Tucson. “I’m absolutely thrilled to be back in Tucson. My family is here and now so am I,” he says. “I live and breathe radio, it’s all Iʼve ever done.” His years on the air have taken The Mikey Show to Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, and now back home. And he’s done it well, seeing high ratings and motivating his listeners to fight hard battles to improve themselves and their surroundings. He has been there and done that, and now inspires others to move past their tough times. Mikey’s father’s battle with cancer has inspired him to put his effort into supporting others.
Evenings & Weekends
Maria Mendez has spent most of her 24 years on the radio in her hometown here in Tucson. She has also graced the airwaves in Sacramento, CA and Nashville, TN, but Tucson is her tierra. She is an accomplished musician, artist, BPM night club disc jockey, and actress, who appeared in the Hollywood box office smash Three Amigos starring Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short. She is best known for her sense of humor and loves anything to do with social media, reading, all things paranormal, and the strange and unusual. Maria believes radio is a part of her soul. Maria says “returning to Tucson radio is like coming home after a long trip away.”
Brenda Catalina began her career in radio by volunteering at KXCI community radio. Her first paying gig was at KFAS in Casa Grande, to which she drove on a whim after hearing “ol’ blue eyes” had bought a station there. How many people can boast of having worked for Frank Sinatra? But Tucson was calling her back, and back she came, working over the the next 20 years for KTUC, The Cloud95, KXTZ Las Vegas, KHYT, and KIIM FM. “When Bobby Rich called me about the concept of The Drive, I was floored,” Brenda said. “True Tucson radio, owned by Tucsonans and focusing on the needs of Tucsonans in my age group … How could I not want to be a part of this?”
Matt Gentry grew up in Tucson. The man has a memory beyond belief and regales his listeners with stories about people, places, and things over his decades here. He began a career in radio in 1989 in a small town in New Mexico. From there to Colorado (where he worked with The Drive’s morning co-host Hill Bailey) and then radio gigs in Arizona. Along the way he added acting and voice-over work to his repertoire. In 2018 Matt chose to expand his opportunities attending college to earn an IT degree in digital media. He and his girlfriend, Randy are both happy to be closer to their parents who live here.
Driver Leslie moved to Tucson in 1999 from Milwaukee, where she grew up and was working in radio. Funny story, Leslie was connected with Bobby Rich in Tucson by her boss at WKTI in Milwaukee. Bobby brought her to 94.9 Tucson, where she stayed for 20 years. You’ve also heard her on 104.1 The Point and The Groove. Then in March 2021, everything came full circle as Bobby convinced her to take the wild ride at The Drive Tucson! Leslie loves to entertain friends, post a lot on social media, watch Packer games, (yeah, she’s a proud cheesehead) , and she and her husband have a podcast called “Love, Marriage and all the CRAP in between”!
From nowhere to somewhere … that’s her story. From the middle of nowhere: West Virginia (University) WWVU-FM, and a radio internship at WDVE in Pittsburgh, PA to Tucson. After she visited here, saw a bull tied up beside a cactus on Ajo, and then got tacos on 6th, she packed the U-Haul and landed in the Old Pueblo. Chita scattered her talents on Tucson’s KIIM, KHYT and KFMA while also jumping into music promotion online (even before Myspace) before signing on with KLPX. For 10 years, anyone and everyone could find her in the same spot, every afternoon, as a rock jock and programmer, as well as around town as an avid supporter of all things live and local in music entertainment. Behind the scenes she managed an event and marketing company called Hoopla and was an account executive for a local radio/TV group. After all those real-world experiences, Chita has a variety of stories to share with you. So let’s do this … let’s play radio with Chita on The Drive Tucson, weekends and surprise pop-ins.